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Mental health on trial with 7 in 10 legal professionals demanding better work-life balance

Protecting and improving the mental health of legal professionals continues to be a challenge for the industry, with seven out of ten lawyers calling for better work-life balance in the 2019 GlobalX and Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) industry report.

These concerns were also reflected at the ALPMA Summit, during which the conference’s competitive hackathon was won by the GlobalX team, who formulated a standardised wellness practice model to support the mental health of legal professionals.

The concept, called Well Practice, claimed more than 55 per cent of audience votes, with the second place concept trailing behind with 23 per cent of votes.

GlobalX National Manager of Matter Centre David Favretto, who lead the hackathon team in creating Well Practice, said that the result proved the accuracy of the research findings.

“While concerns about work-life balance and mental health in the legal industry have been anecdotally reported for many years now, this year’s survey results and the popularity of our hackathon concept reinforce just how widespread these concerns are,” Mr Favretto said.

“In the same way that law firms protect their computer systems by installing firewalls, they should be protecting their staff by investing in programs and other opportunities to improve mental health.

“Working in the legal profession is incredibly rewarding, but there’s no question that it can also be challenging and stressful at times.

“Our team is incredibly proud of Well Practice and we look forward to continuing to develop this resource over time to address concerns about wellbeing in the Australian legal industry.”

GlobalX CEO Peter Maloney said that Well Practice was formulated in response to findings in the GlobalX and ALPMA industry report, as well as additional research that was undertaken during the conference.

“The hackathon team found that 90 per cent of respondents believe there should be a wellness practice across the industry, but less than half of law firms currently have programs like these,” he said.

“At GlobalX, we have worked hard to cultivate a strong and supportive internal culture, and we believe that a healthy work-life balance is essential for our employees and our organisation.

“We would be delighted to see this focus on wellbeing extend throughout the legal profession, and I’m proud that the GlobalX team has used the hackathon to take the first steps in creating a resource that can be used by law firms across the countries to ensure that their employees feel happy, healthy and supported in the workplace.”

Legal professionals can measure their firm’s wellness health via an online questionnaire and learn how to improve their score at the Well Practice website.

To read the 2019 GlobalX and ALPMA industry report, visit: